Want to Go Caravanning? What to Consider First
You may have had your fill of staying in overpriced hotels when you go away on holiday and would like to take all of the planning into your own hands for a change. Therefore, you may be considering the purchase of a nice, new caravan in order to entertain your family the traditional way. One of the first things to consider before you head to the caravan dealer, however, is how you are going to tow it. What do you need to be aware of?
Where to Start
The first thing to consider is your towing vehicle. It is very important to make sure that the caravan itself is hitched correctly to this vehicle. You need to always follow a certain procedure, in order to ensure that the configuration is correct and you're prepared to set off.
How to Avoid Towing Problems
One of the main problems you want to avoid is a sensation known as "fish tailing." This is what happens when a trailer moves from side to side as you're driving at highway speeds. It can be exacerbated in heavy winds or when passing one of those big rigs. Have a look at the placement of the hitch on the rear of your vehicle. The closer this is to the axle of the towing vehicle the better, as this becomes the fulcrum when everything is connected together. While this will be largely dictated by the vehicle that you already have, It should also dictate the type of caravan that you buy based on its frame size. You can also make a significant difference here by ensuring that all of the weight carried onboard is evenly balanced throughout both the towing vehicle and the caravan. Don't be tempted to load a lot of heavy suitcases at the back of your towing vehicle, for example.
Choosing the Right Caravan Model
When you talk to your caravan dealer ask them about the hitch weight of the unit you are considering. They will be able to direct you towards the best type of caravan, based on the type of towing vehicle you have. It's important to ensure that the hitch weight is kept as low as possible as a proportion of the overall weight of the entire rig.
Ensuring the Towing Vehicle Is Ready
You may also need to take your towing vehicle to your friendly mechanic's shop in order to give it a major overhaul in advance of your next adventure. In particular, ask the mechanic to check the configuration of the springs and whether or not they should be upgraded to a stiffer setting. You should also make sure that the brakes are completely overhauled, that the discs are in good condition and the pads are brand-new. A towing vehicle in excellent condition can often make up for slight imbalances in the load behind.